Facing projections of lopsided enrollment between schools, particularly its high schools, the Millard school district last week seated a parent committee to help come up with solutions.
Millard officials declined to provide the names of committee members, saying only that they represent a cross-section of the district.
School board member Mike Kennedy said Superintendent Keith Lutz wants the committee to serve as anonymous, unbiased advisers.
“He wants to have candid advice from a broad group of people in the district, and that's his choice,” Kennedy said.
Kennedy said, however, that the public will have multiple opportunities to weigh in before a decision is made on how to solve the imbalance.
The Comprehensive Enrollment and Boundary Study Committee will meet five times. It will hear input at three public meetings before the committee recommends a boundary plan to Lutz this fall.
Lutz is slated to make a final recommendation to the school board in December. Board members can accept, reject or modify Lutz's recommendation, Kennedy said.
He said there is no desire to rush the process, which will take several months.
“I won't vote on anything until I know we've had a full and fair hearing from our public, period,” Kennedy said.
This spring, a consulting report by RSP & Associates forecast continued rising enrollment in the southwestern and western parts of the district but generally flat and spotty growth in the eastern reaches.
Board member Paul Meyer said some schools in the eastern part of the district have seen waning enrollment.
“It's hardly worth keeping some of those schools open unless we can get more kids into them, because they do have the capacity,” he said.
Kennedy said he's including among the options the possibility of launching new academic programs to attract students to schools with declining enrollment.
The consulting report found that K-12 enrollment will continue to increase for the next five years, with the secondary grades hit hardest.
Growing enrollment at Millard West High School will create the biggest challenge, the consulting report said.
All three high schools have a listed capacity of 2,400 students.
Enrollment at Millard West is projected to top 2,500 next year and reach nearly 3,000 by the 2017-18 school year.
Millard South will not exceed capacity, reaching a little more than 2,100 in 2017-18.
Millard North is projected to stay between 2,400 and 2,500.
As of Aug. 23, Millard North had the most students, 2,416, followed by West at 2,396 and South at 2,040.
Millard West's freshman class was 633, the highest among the three schools. North's was 611 and South's was 505.
The consultant will facilitate the committee meetings, according to district spokeswoman Rebecca Kleeman.
Public input will be taken at meetings held next month at each of the high schools: Millard North on Oct. 28, Millard South on Oct. 29 and Millard West on Oct. 30.
The results of the committee work will be shared with the school board on Nov. 18, Kleeman said.